No Niche Too Small
The overwhelming majority of businesses in the efficiency-related products and services industry focus on addressing the major energy-consuming culprits in a building (e.g., HVAC, lighting, refrigeration, and so forth). This market (which we’ll call “Market 1”) has its pros and cons: the returns are high and there’s ample evidence to show that improving the efficiency of these building systems can have a huge impact on energy savings. On the other hand, the scope and cost of these projects often deter prospects from buying.
A handful of efficiency businesses avoid the aforementioned market altogether. Instead, they focus on niche items that many folks dismiss as having relatively insignificant potential to move the energy needle in a building (e.g., appliances, elevators, printers, and so forth). This market (which we’ll call “Market 2”) may actually be “the thin edge of the wedge” for a prospect that is reluctant to invest significant time and money into pursuing larger-scale improvements. Of course, in order for this strategy to work, the sales professional must demonstrate to his or her prospect that addressing the efficiency of these various niche items is a worthwhile undertaking – one that could have a noticeably positive impact on the building’s overall energy profile.
If you sell (or are interested in selling) products or services in the “Market 2” category, check out this ACEEE report from 2013 titled, “Miscellaneous Energy Loads in Buildings.” The report provides evidence that there is a potential for significant energy savings here. You can offer your prospects the charts and graphs from this report as proof that your high-efficiency “Market 2” product is a worthwhile investment.